ELLIOT Grandin is set to give the Seasiders a major boost by returning against Chelsea.
The French midfielder has returned to training following a hamstring injury.
And although some doubts remain about his fitness, manager Ian Holloway is considering throwing the 24-year-old in from the start on Monday.
The Pool boss sees Grandin as one of his key men, playing an invaluable role linking midfield and attack.
Holloway said: “We have missed him in the last couple of weeks and it is a big tonic for us that he’s back in training.
“But I have to get him right and make sure he’s OK. It is no good having him back if he doesn’t believe he can sprint properly.
“That has been the problem in the last fortnight and it would be a waste of time bringing him back too soon.
“But I hope he will be OK because he has been a vital piece of our machinery this year.
“If you’d told me at the start of the season that Elliot would play as many games as he has and that Keith Southern would be mostly on the bench I’d have thought you were crazy.
“But Elliot is always in the right place to do defensive things, then when we get the ball he motors and causes problems up the other end.
“He is a foreign player playing a foreign way and it really helps us.
“I think he has become a key player, and if I can get him believing he can sprint I think he will score goals as well.”
Gary Taylor-Fletcher has also returned to training after hamstring problems but won’t be fit until the game at Blackburn in a fortnight.
Charlie Adam is over his injury problems and will be fit for Ewood Park.
The Seasiders skipper completes a two-match ban on Monday night but is keenly eying the Lancashire derby.
Holloway said: “Charlie seems a lot happier. He had an internal injury which was causing a problem after games. “If footballers get anything wrong with them they worry, but if they know it’s OK they stop worrying.
“He has stopped worrying now because the doctors aren’t concerned and have given him reassurances, so it is happy days.”